On Friday 15 September, 100 colleagues from Ford left their workplaces for the day and headed to Sandford Mill, Chelmsford's important museum of science and industry.
Swapping their usual roles in engineering and design for a hands-on volunteering day, they worked hard together to make the museum experience better for the local community with a barrage of improvement projects.
During the morning and afternoon, they split into several teams to install a pond-dipping platform, fire pit, paths, fences, gates, steps, benches and ramps. Brambles and weeds were cleared, rooms were painted and nature signs, sculptures and information boards were created around the site.
One clever team designed and built a working model of a canal lock, while others built new seating, tables, birdboxes and bug hotels for the new natural sciences outdoor classroom. Meanwhile, an important 'special forces' crew of six provided breakfast, snacks and lunch for their hungry co-workers throughout the day!
The volunteering day was organised by Aaron Oakley, a Diesel Controls Technical Specialist in his day job, in conjunction with Chelmsford City Council. Aaron said, "The teaching of science and engineering is something that is close to the hearts of many in our team. We hope that our efforts here will help the Learning Team bring the natural sciences to life, and inspire kids to learn more about the world around them."
Councillor Julia Jeapes, Cabinet Member for Leisure, said, "Sandford Mill is a treasure trove of industrial and scientific artefacts, which are especially useful for schoolchildren. It is brilliant to see so many people from an engineering background coming together and using their time to help inspire the next generation. Thanks to their hard work, our visitors will now be able to enjoy fresh learning experiences, including discovering natural sciences in the new outdoor classroom."